Putin arrest warrant is 'first shot' in potentially substantial indictment against him

An arrest warrant issued against Russian President Vladimir Putin is the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) “first shot” in what could be a substantial indictment against him, Ukraine’s leading lawyer has said.

putin arrest warrant is 'first shot' in potentially substantial indictment against him

Putin arrest warrant is ‘first shot’ in potentially substantial indictment against him

The intergovernmental group – based at The Hague – has accused Mr Putin of being responsible for the abduction of children from Ukraine.

An arrest warrant was also issued for Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, Russia’s commissioner for children, on similar allegations of war crimes.

Speaking to Sky News, the lead lawyer for the government of Ukraine, Ben Emmerson, said he believes there are two reasons why the arrest warrant against Mr Putin has been issued now.

He said the immediate timing seems to have been the decision by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights at the United Nations in Geneva “to publish a report detailing what the judges believe to be Russian war crimes committed in Ukraine – including the allegations of the forced transfer of children from Ukraine into Russia as a war crime”.

Mr Emmerson said the other dimension to the timing of the arrest warrant is “sometimes when indictments are issued, they are sealed”.

“In other words, they’re not made public. But increasingly, we have seen indictments being issued against leaders during an ongoing conflict that happened in relation to the indictment against General Gaddafi, for example, during the Libyan uprising.”

Putin at risk of ‘being held accountable’

He said that it has to be recognised that issuing an indictment against a sitting head of state in the midst of an armed conflict is to “some extent affecting the conduct or aimed to affect the conduct of those involved”.

“In other words, this is clearly the first shot in what might be eventually a much more substantial indictment against President Putin,” said Mr Emmerson.

He went on to say that he believes the main aim is to make Mr Putin and those around him aware of “the very real risk that exists of being held accountable criminally in due course”.

On whether he thinks the narrow charges were a strategic move by the ICC, he said that Karim Khan, the head prosecutor at the International Criminal Court, has made it clear in the role that he intends to act “not on a political basis, but on the basis of prosecutable cases”.

“In other words, he would choose cases that he was very confident could be won and won with evidential support,” said Mr Emmerson.

Russian leadership makes ‘erratic and belligerent moves’

Mr Emmerson suspects that the reason why this particular charge has been selected in the indictment against Mr Putin is that “proving his responsibility for this and indeed the responsibility of the children’s commissioner is straightforward”.

Asked whether the arrest warrant could offer some kind of hope for Ukrainian families getting their children back, Mr Emmerson said that he is always sceptical because “one thing that seems reasonably clear is that [Russian authorities] are often very unpredictable”.

“But that said, these children have been unlawfully taken and in breach of humanitarian law. They have been effectively kidnapped. It is not the first time Russia has done this – it did this during the 2014 war in Donbas.”

He added that “when the situation of lawlessness is as it is at the moment, and the Russian troops and authorities and indeed the Russian leadership are behaving with increasingly erratic and belligerent moves, everything remains unpredictable”.

‘Putin clearly committed war crimes’

The arrest warrant comes after US President Joe Biden described the ICC’s decision to issue it as “justified”.

The Kremlin said Russia, which does not recognise the ICC, found the questions raised by the court “outrageous and unacceptable”.

Putin’s ‘child snatcher’ and other fugitives wanted by International Criminal Court

Vladimir Putin visits Crimea on anniversary of region’s annexation from Ukraine

But Mr Biden, speaking at a news conference on Friday, said: “He’s [Putin] clearly committed war crimes.

“I think it’s justified [the warrant]. But the question is – it’s not recognised internationally by us either. But I think it makes a very strong point.”

Though both Russia and the US were once signatories to the Rome Statute – the treaty that established the ICC – the US has never ratified the agreement, while Russia withdrew after the court’s criticism of its 2014 annexation of Crimea.

Alongside the ICC arrest warrant, the US has separately concluded that Russian forces have committed war crimes in Ukraine.

Click to subscribe to Ukraine War Diaries wherever you get your podcasts

“There is no doubt that Russia is committing war crimes and atrocities [in] Ukraine, and we have been clear that those responsible must be held accountable,” a State Department spokesperson said.

Russia said the ICC’s warrants were “null and void” as it does not recognise the court.

Meanwhile, Ms Lvova-Belova said her arrest warrant validated her work “helping the children of our country”.

The allegations come as Russia prepares to celebrate the ninth anniversary of its 2014 annexation of Crimea, which Mr Putin is expected to mark with a “patriotic” rally at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium this weekend.

News Related


Lebanon's cabinet reverses decision to delay daylight's savings

Clock towers are pictured near the government palace in Beirut BEIRUT (Reuters) – Lebanon’s caretaker prime minister said the cabinet had voted to move clocks one hour ahead on Wednesday ... Read more »

Cheapest supermarket to buy Easter eggs in 2023 - including Cadbury and mini eggs

Easter wouldn’t be the same without eating far too much chocolate (Picture: Getty Images) Tucking into chocolate eggs is one the big Easter treats, but in a cost of living ... Read more »

Jude Bellingham transfer decision made by Real Madrid as Kylian Mbappe stance confirmed

Real Madrid have decided against making major first-team signings this summer despite their long-standing interest in signing Jude Bellingham and Kylian Mbappe. Borussia Dortmund ace Bellingham has attracted interest from ... Read more »

Amazon slashes £155 off Shark cordless vacuum cleaner in spring sale

Shark cordless vacuum Amazon’s huge sale event includes a hoover from Shark, which is cordless and has anti-hair wrap technology. Amazon vacuum cleaner Amazon’s spring sale is a multiple day ... Read more »

Russian tennis boss responds as star to 'switch nationality' after achieving career best

Varvara Gracheva is reportedly switching her nationality from Russian to French The head of the Russian Tennis Federation has responded to reports that Varvara Gracheva will switch allegiances to represent ... Read more »

Google's 'left wing' AI chatbot accused of bias after saying Brexit was 'bad idea'

Google’s artificial intelligence chatbot, called Bard, has been accused of having a left-wing bias. Bard is similar to ChatGPT, creating unique responses to questions based on data scanned from the ... Read more »

Olympic snowboarder Jenny Jones, 42, announces pregnancy with first baby

Jenny Jones admitted she had been keeping her secret all winter long (Picture: jennyjonessnow) Olympic bronze medallist and snowboarder Jenny Jones revealed she was expecting her first baby with her ... Read more »

Prepare for the Amazon Spring Sale with these huge (and we mean huge) early discounts

Deals to celebrate, now that Spring has sprung (Picture: Amazon/Getty) This article contains affiliate links. We will earn a small commission on purchases made through one of these links but ... Read more »

Barclays announces 14 more branch closures, bringing total to 58 this year

Increasing numbers of customers are banking online (Mike Egerton/PA) Barclays will close another 14 branches at sites across the UK, two in Wales and 12 in England, the latest in ... Read more »

Emmerdale star Daisy Campbell confirms future in Amelia Spencer role

Emmerdale star Daisy Campbell has confirmed she’s sticking around as Amelia Spencer. Campbell joined the soap over a decade ago, being cast as Amelia when she was just 7 years ... Read more »

Rhubarb and ginger meringue stack

This meringue dessert makes a great addition to Coronation parties. Select the brightest pink stalks of rhubarb you can find for this showstopper pudding. This rhubarb and ginger meringue stack ... Read more »

King Charles 'too busy' to see Prince Harry as Duke of Sussex snubbed by senior royals after Spare attacks

King Charles ‘too busy’ to see Prince Harry as Duke of Sussex snubbed by senior royals after Spare attacks King Charles is “too busy” to see Prince Harry during the ... Read more »

Alex Iwobi makes title prediction and says Arsenal star is 'a joke' in training

Alex Iwobi spent over a decade at Arsenal (Picture: Sky Sports) Alex Iwobi has made his Premier League title prediction and revealed former Arsenal team-mate Reiss Nelson is ‘a joke’ ... Read more »

Full list of Barclays branches set for closure

Barclays profits Barclays has announced the closure of another 14 branches in England and Wales as the business joins rivals in scaling back its network. So far this year all ... Read more »

Scientists find ‘reservoir’ on the Moon

Breaking News Scientists say they have found a new “reservoir” of water on the Moon. The findings could have significant consequences both for our understanding of our nearest neighbour and ... Read more »

King Charles's 'recurring theme' suggests he may offer Harry and Meghan an olive branch

king charles, meghan and harry King Charles was one of the only Royal Family members to visit his Great-Uncle, Edward VIII in France. The 74-year-old was reportedly keen to “build ... Read more »

Steel firm Aartee Bright Bar bought in rescue deal but Dudley site to close

Steel beams. Image shot 03/2009. Exact date unknown. The majority of collapsed steel business Aartee Bright Bar will be bought by Barrett Steel in a £13 million rescue deal – ... Read more »

Covid spring booster to be available for at-risk groups - side effects

People who have a weakened immune system will be invited for a spring Covid booster As of Monday, March 27, care home residents in Scotland are eligible for the latest ... Read more »

Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk 'is OFF' as Ukrainian quits training camp

The long awaited heavyweight unification bout between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk is off, according to reports. After months of negotiations, provisions for an April 29 bout at London’s Wembley ... Read more »

Ukraine-Russia war latest: Drones attack Russian fleet in Crimea port

Ukrainian servicemen fire with a D-30 howitzer at Russian positions near Bakhmut – AFP The Russian navy “repelled” a drone attack on the port of Sevastopol in Moscow-annexed Crimea early ... Read more »

The Apprentice finalist admits 'surprise' over behind-the-scenes clashes

The gruelling interview episode saw Dani Donovan, Megan Hornby, and Victoria Goulbourne fired from the BBC competition. Alan Sugar had some extra help in the latest episode as his advisers ... Read more »

Liverpool and Newcastle could be denied Champions League place even if they finish fourth

Liverpool, Brighton and Newcastle are amongst the Premier League teams that could be denied a Champions League place even if they finish fourth. The race to finish inside the top ... Read more »

Sir Jim Ratcliffe considers new strategy to secure world-record Man Utd takeover

Sir Jim Ratcliffe could team up with another party in an effort to match Manchester United takeover rival Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani, it’s been claimed. The British billionaire, ... Read more »

Cannabis users ‘can wake up during surgery’

A man smokes a joint And other stories from the stranger side of life Doctors are warning that cannabis users could wake up in the middle of surgery, and that ... Read more »

This Morning star gets huge new tattoo on his neck for heartwarming reason

This Morning star Gok Wan has revealed his new tattoo as he paid tribute to his nearest and dearest. The fashion guru and occasional chef on the popular ITV daytime ... Read more »

Turned £10k into £40k: How UK's most popular fund has made Isa savers rich

Many private investors will be wary of using their £20,000 stocks and shares Isa allowance before the deadline on April 5, which is now just two weeks away. Yet if ... Read more »

Ukraine war: Xi urges Putin to work together for biggest global changes in a century

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping attend a reception in Moscow (Reuters) -China’s President Xi Jinping left Russia on Wednesday after a grandiose display of solidarity with ... Read more »

I’ve been doing the TikTok 3-2-1 method workout — here’s what you should know

null With so many trending TikTok workouts flooding social media daily, it’s hard to know which ones actually work. But a recent trend called the 3-2-1 method workout is the ... Read more »

F1 LIVE: Wolff told to tear up Russell's contract, Hill takes swipe at Verstappen's dad

Toto Wolff has been told to rip George Russell’s deal in two as the 25-year-old will take points away from Lewis Hamilton in a future title battle. Russell has starred ... Read more »

F1 bosses are still ignoring Jackie Stewart demands that Lewis Hamilton totally supports

F1 bosses have failed to act on Jackie Stewart’s demands over a major rule change backed by Lewis Hamilton. Decision makers have not updated the rules around the Grand Prix ... Read more »
Kênh kiến thức kỹ năng, phát triển bản thân, hướng nghiệp, blog nhân sự